Sony’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse won Best Animated Feature at the 46th Annual Annie Awards Saturday evening, and garnered top honors across seven categories including Character Animation – David Han; Character Design – Shiyoon Kim; Directing – Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman; Production Design – Justin K. Thompson; Writing – Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman; and Editorial – Bob Fisher, Andrew Leviton and Vivek Sharma. Best Animated Feature-Independent was awarded to Mirai (Studio Chizu).
This year introduced a new category, Best Virtual Reality Production, awarded to Crow: The Legend (Baobab Studios). Additional key category winners were Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney Studios) – Best Animated Special Production and Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production; Best Animated Short Subject – Weekends (Past Lives Productions); Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial – Greenpeace ‘There’s a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom’ (Passion Animation Studios); Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production – BoJack Horseman ‘The Dog Days are Over’ (Tornante Productions, LLC for Netflix); Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children – Hilda (Hilda Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media Company, Netflix Inc. and Mercury Filmworks); and Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children – Ask the StoryBots (JibJab Bros. Studios for Netflix).
“What a terrific night,” remarked ASIFA-Hollywood Executive Director, Frank Gladstone. “While the weather was a challenge this year, everyone rose to the occasion and we had a brilliant time. This year’s awards garnered the largest amount of submissions yet, leading to a great list of nominees, so it was no surprise that the Annie recipients continued to showcase animation’s rising influence and diversity.”
VIP Guests and Presenters included Pixar Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter and Disney Creative Officer Jennifer Lee, Brad Bird, Holly Hunter, Diane Warren, Frances Fisher, Brenda Chapman, Simon Wells, Steve Hickner, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Jim Cummings, John Ratzenberger and Patrick Warburton.
This year’s Winsor McCay recipients were Frank Braxton (posthumously), Ralph Eggleston and Andrea Romano. The Winsor McCay Award stands as one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation.
The June Foray award was given posthumously to Adam Burke. Burke was widely acknowledged to be a talented artist and even better person. His absence is deeply mourned. The June Foray award honors an individual(s) who has given significant and benevolent contributions to the art and industry of animation.
Blender Open Source Animation Software was given the Ub Iwerks Award. Ton Roosendaal, Dutch software developer and film producer, accepted the award. And, the Certificate of Merit recipient was presented to dedicated ASIFA-Hollywood volunteer, Jason Jones.
The Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 36 categories from best feature, best feature – independent, production design, character animation, and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting, and have often been a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. A complete list of winners can be viewed at www.annieawards.org.